Skip to main content

Cash for Clunkers: Government Computer Spy Program

junk carsWhen you take advantage of the cash for clunkers car program (the Car Allowance Rebate System), the U.S. federal government gets to play computer spy without your permission.

Here’s how it works.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandates car dealers register in order  to participate in the program. However, a condition of registration requires the dealers to surrender all data on their computers and treats those car dealer computers as if they were owned by the federal government.

Now imagine if you tried to pull a stunt like this when someone bought a product from your website. In other words, every purchaser was agreeing as part of the buying process to surrender complete access to their computer files to you and allow you to treat their private data on their computers as if you owned it. Want to bet how long it would take for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to come after you and how quickly you’d be sued for deceptive trade practices?

Yet somehow privacy rights advocates who have been complaining after 9/11 about Big Brother aren’t saying anything about the spying for clunkers program. Makes you wonder if their agenda has anything to do with privacy or perhaps just partisan hit jobs depending on who they like to see in the Oval Office.

Let’s be frank. Invasion of privacy is invasion of privacy. It shouldn’t matter which political party is responsible for doing it. If the Republicans did it under the Patriot Act, it doesn’t justify the Democrats doing it under the Cash for Clunkers program. Both are shredding your constitutional rights.

Hat tip: Washington Times

Mike Young, Esq.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

More posts by Mike Young, Esq.